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Art exhibition project “Now!”

Drawing attention to paintings – without showing a painting

THE TASK

A magnificent multifaceted spectacle: Four museums join to present the full bandwidth of contemporary painting in Germany. The curators visited hundreds of artists’ studios to organize a representative selection of work. Simultaneously in three German cities, the exhibition displays more than 400 paintings by 53 artists, most of whom are under 40. Some of the work will be so new that the paint will not dry until just shortly before the official opening. The exhibition’s title, “Jetzt!” (Now!), underscores its immediacy.

The museums’ directors invited Q and a few other well-known agencies to submit visual concepts in a paid competition. The big challenge: No specific painting could be emphasized in the concept, because no single artist should be set apart from the others. Drawing attention to paintings without showing a painting – that’s a hard nut to crack.

THE SOLUTION

Q’s creative team solved the problem with a typographic approach – and won the competition. We staged the exhibition title itself as the hero. Through their unique flow, letters became pictorial symbols to convey alertness, long-range effect, and retention. The swinging, spontaneous characters of the word “Jetzt!” communicate the art of painting as well as the present moment in time. Additional autonomy is achieved with a modern, unseen color scheme.

THE MEDIA

To promote the exhibition, we created several communication materials – from a save-the-date folder, posters, advertisements, cloth bags, press kits, and a website to the exhibition catalogue in two languages. All media were designed to be easily utilitized by the institutions involved – Kunsthalle Bonn, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Museum Wiesbaden, and Deichtorhallen Hamburg. While working on the project, we were deeply affected by the electrifying tension that this art form is able to generate. Even for us as culture vultures, the project introduced us to an unexpected cross-section of young German painters.

Website: www.malerei.jetzt